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Q&A with Tastemaker Corey Lynn Calter

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Mother and designer Corey Lynn Calter is any fashion-lover's inspiration. She began designing and experimenting with sewing as a teenager as well as making her own clothes. At the ripe age of 19 while studying at FIT, Calter was asked by Sex in the City stylist, Patricia Fields, to design for her trendsetting boutique in New York City. Calter has since designed for celebrities, Broadway, famous opera houses and renowned fashion labels. Now, she's a mom with a label of her own who's refined her punk-scene meets opera-chic aesthetic. Learn more about Corey Lynn Calter by reading her Q&A below!

BR: What do you love most about being a mom?

CC: I love reliving experiences with my kids every day. Seeing things through their eyes can be sad, hilarious and always enlightening. I have grown up so much with my kids. and the cuddles and love is pretty great too. 

BR: What is the number one way in which motherhood has changed you? 

CC: I think about the impact of my words a lot more. I am a silly, and sometimes very blunt, person. I choose my words more carefully when I talk to them. 

BR: Did you breast-feed your children? If so, how did you dress to make it easier to nurse?

CC: Yes, I did breast-feed, I found it super hard to dress in a way that made it easier. That's one of the Shop BURU concepts that I LOVE. I only wish I had it when I was nursing. I was always struggling in this area, especially in the beginning when it all seemed so foreign to me.

BR: I've read that you started making your own clothes as a teenager. What was the first piece you ever made?

CC: I'm sure it wasn't the first thing I made, but it's one I remember clearly. I made Metallic M.C. Hammer pants and a crop top made from Indian fabric. Hilarious. I cried every time I made a sewing mistake. 

BR: I've also read that you developed your aesthetic in a variety of subcultures ranging from the New York punk scene to the San Francisco opera scene. What inspires your designs now?

CC: I think those are still the essential influences that inspire my collection. I travel more now and that is always inspiring. Clearing your mind away from everyday is great for letting in creativity.

BR: During and after your pregnancies, what was your day-to-day style?

CC: I always wished I embraced "the belly" more during my pregnancies. I felt like I didn't flaunt it as much as I should have. I didn't have a shortage of great clothes to wear but would have worm more fitted styles even though I am fond of a good caftan. I always made sure I had great shoes on. I loved Dries Van Noten and, at the time, i was really into asymmetric layers, dresses over skirts or pants. I had a few COREY favs that I had made in several prints, too. 

BR: What are your must-have pieces from BURU and why do they work in your mommy lifestyle?

CC:

  1. The Odells Simple Cloth Slouch Denim Pant: I literally just bought these on Shop BURU. 
  2. Mothers en Vogue One Shoulder Maxi Goddess Dress: Excellent hostess dress. I love an opportunity to wear statement jewelry and this is a good one. 
  3. Mothers en Vogue Grey Long Sleeve V-Neck T-Shirt: What a great gift. 

BR: What are your five favorite kids brands? (Anything from clothes to snacks to toys.)

CC: 

  1. Kiwi Industries sweaters and hats: They're fun and colorful. 
  2. Kitchy vintage-inspired clothes from Ele Story
  3. Pretty ballet flats from Elephantito: My kids love these.
  4. Magna-Tiles: My kids have been playing with them for five years.
  5. Baby Ya-ya blanket towels: I may have bought a dozen of these. 

BR: How do you balance your time between work and family?

CC: I try not to be hard on myself about needing time. Time with my family, time to myself and time to work. I try my best to not work when I'm with my family and not juggle family at work. I feel like if I am present as much as possible in whatever I'm doing, I'm happier, I feel more gratified. I also practice transcendental meditation and this has helped in keeping my thoughts organized and making sure I check in with myself a few times daily. 

BR: What's the one thing you wish you would have known before becoming a mother?

CC: You can't do everything. Pick what's most important to you and let the rest happen when it can. I also wish someones would have said, "It's not easy, just being a woman does not mean being a mother is easy." There is this illusion that every mom is happy and it's so easy and blissful, but the reality for me, and so many moms, is sometimes it's just hard. That doesn't mean I don't love it and feel truly blessed, but it is comforting when you start making mom friends and you realize you have similar ups and downs. 

Thank you so much, Corey!

But the fun doesn't end there! Corey partnered with BURU to make Mommy & Me outfits! Check them out in the slideshow below:

Shop COREY by Corey Lynn Calter HERE.

Shop Corey Lynn Calter's Tastemaker Sale HERE

View the COREY website HERE.

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